A tie goes to the veterans.
That is how manager Terry Collins views the competition for open jobs in the Mets’ bullpen, as he begins evaluating which arms might belong on the Opening Day roster.
LaTroy Hawkins, Pedro Feliciano, Scott Atchison and Aaron Laffey are among the veteran relievers battling for jobs, with Jeurys Familia, Darin Gorski and Robert Carson among the notable younger pitchers in the hunt.
“A lot of times [veterans] come out of spring training and they are ready,” Collins said yesterday. “Where the kid coming out making his first major league team out of spring training, you’re not sure how they are going to react early in the year, it’s cold, all those things those veterans have been through.
“One of the things I’ve always thought, the middle of the season you bring those young guys up and the energy is regained in the clubhouse.”
If healthy, Bobby Parnell, Brandon Lyon, Josh Edgin and Frank Francisco likely have spots cemented. But Francisco’s elbow swelling has him shut down for at least two weeks, making it possible he would begin the season on the disabled list.
Collins said he is more than impressed with the early turnout. Though the full squad isn’t required to report until tomorrow, Jordany Valdespin, Marlon Byrd and Wilfredo Tovar are the only players not yet in camp.
Collins gave Valdespin and Byrd a pass for having played in the recent Caribbean World Series and said Tovar was having visa issues. Jenrry Mejia is the lone pitcher absent from camp, as he awaits a visa in the Dominican Republic.
Collins: Vets will have edge in bullpen battles
New York Post | Feb 15